If You're Going to Be the Worst Parent Ever, Make Sure You Have a the Best Co-parent Ever

The Tooth Fairy didn't make it to our house last night. This is a huge problem.

In the decade that she and I have had to work together to manage the extraction of baby teeth from out of little faces and under little pillows, she's not been able to complete her end of the deal a only a handful of times. There are numerous reasons why the tooth fairy has missed picking up a tooth - usually, it's simply that the tooth was dirty. Everyone knows the tooth fairy doesn't take dirty teeth. This is why you have to brush twice a day every single day, because you never know when one's going to fall out. Once she had the stomach flu (no one is immune from that BS),  and once or twice she's embarrassed to admit she's been a little drunk. What? Tooth fairies have parties, too. Who's going to be the DD for the freaking tooth fairy? You want her to drink and fly? Didn't think so. She very responsibly stayed home, feels terrible about the entire thing today, and won't be making that mistake again for a very long time.

But last night, conditions were perfect. It was Thursday night, a work night and hardly a night for revelry. We waited until every single one of us was home from work and school to go out back and call the tooth fairy, making a wish on the brightest, firstest star we saw that night - and we all made really good, sincere wishes out loud that she'd come and take 3of3's tooth. The tooth itself was carefully tucked under the perfect spot on the pillow - not so deep that she wouldn't be able to reach it, not so close to the edge that it might fall out onto the floor if 3of3 had a restless night's sleep.

We did everything exactly right, and still the tooth fairy didn't come. Needless to say, 3of3 was devastated. 

When she handed her tooth to me in the kitchen this morning, I looked closely at it. "It was probably dirty, honey. You know she doe...." "No mom, I brushed it extra last night before i went to be to be sure it was super clean." 

Oh shit. 

"Well maybe she...maybe we...um..."

"She just didn't COME, mom. She just FORGOT about me."

My 15 year old walked in, and I asked him, "Hey, why did the tooth fairy miss you when you were little?" He grumbled something very tired and 15 back at me. I tried to find a silver lining. "But didn't she always leave you extra when she missed a night?" He glared at me and said, "I don't remember. I just remember her not coming."

Ouch. 

I went over to 3of3, offered her a baggie for her tooth, and gave her a hug. Jim came into the kitchen and asked what was up. We told her the tooth fairy hadn't come, and 3of3 was just so sad about it, and he said, "Well of course she didn't come. Didn't you read the news?"

3of3 looked up. So did I. So did the 15 year old trying to not be a part of any of this. 

"Polar vortex," he said, while he brewed his coffee. "Reuters had a whole article about it. Public service crews are all jammed up, up and down the eastern seaboard. The tooth fairy was grounded, like my plane was the other day coming home from my trip to New York. She didn't get to a single kid last night."

"OOOOOH," 3of3 said. 

"I'll print the article out for you today while you're at school," he said back to her. 

She smiled, and went back to eating her oatmeal. I offered to put her tooth back under her pillow, in case the tooth fairy spent some school hours catching up on pickups, but she said she didn't think that was very likely. 

She went off to school, and I went upstairs and got to work. I was on a conference call when Jim left for work, but I found the news article on my desk for her, printed out just like he promised. Apparently, she's so backed up FedEx has stepped in to help her out, and they're expecting possible delays of up to two days. 

Thank goodness someone in this house knows how to read the news in the morning. Also, Photoshop. 

#20CapitalistSelfie

Offered with very little comment, my daughter seems to have passed right over her fear of losing teeth, collected $5, advanced directly to 'rip them out of my face the moment they come loose.' 

She's also figured out we can talk selfies on my laptop - selfies of the teeth she's just yanked out.

This is what year nine of blogging looks like, friends. 

TOOTHless.png

Enough

Eight years ago, on the day you were born, I hardly saw you at all. I don't even remember much of that day; you came into this world and there was a problem (it wasn't serious) (but we didn't know that at the time) (and when you are one minute old, every problem is serious) and just as soon as they laid you on my chest, they took you away.

I spent your first day waiting, wondering, worrying. I ran my fingers across the smears of blood and fluids left across my chest in your absence and dreamed of what it was going to be like to smell you, to hold you, to listen to you breath.  You spent your first day asleep under a plastic pie lid, and I like to imagine you were waiting for me, dreaming, too.

I didn't know your lung had collapsed. I didn't know you weren't responding to sounds. I didn't know you have conjoined toes on one foot.  I didn't know anything at all about your first day, except the pieces of information strangers would drop on the floor around me while I waited to be able to bridge the distance from the places you and I were separately confined. 

Your father was by your side though all of this, of course - by kid three the romance of childrearing is dead, and the paternal instincts are at their peak. You were the daughter he'd waited 34 years and 11 months to the day for, and no amount of NICU walls were about to keep him from you.   

When I was finally able to come see you, once I had feeling in my legs again and all the bleeding had stopped and the pain was a distant memory, they let me come see you. You laid pink and wriggly in your plastic bed, covered with things that go beep, and though you were only 1-1/2" of sterilized plastic away from me, it felt as though I were trying to reach across the ocean to touch you. I felt your tiny, new, curly fingers through the veil of plastic sheeting, and for as comforting as it was to feel the shape of you, it was almost more difficult this way. Mothers are not meant to feel distances from their children, especially not on the first day of their lives out of the joint. 

This year, eight years after the day you were born, I hardly saw you, either, and when I did it was again through sheets of plastic. This year, though, you didn't look like the daily dessert special under a heat lamp -  you were across a canyon from me, again with your father, and I got to spend your birthday with you through voodoo they call Facetime. 

You came home to me two weeks later a new person, a girl, an eight year old. I got to meet the new you new - you seemed taller, you spoke clearer, that freaking loose front tooth dangling from your gums like old an old grape, taunting me to pick it. The desperation you've carried on your shoulders since we moved away from Arizona - from your father and the friend you made who I am sure will be with you for the rest of your life - seemed to have lifted off you. You have this shit. You came home a little bit older, but not too old. You came home eight, and that's just enough. 

(Shitty mom's note: Her birthday is the 1st. Today is the 19th. Stop judging me.) 

42 Ways to Write a 309-Word Freudian Slip

Every day in my social media streams I see a handful of 15 reasons to ____ or 7 way to ____ and it is driving me crazy because I'm in marketing, I see what you're doing there, but also because I have been doing this for nine years which means I am an overbearing preachy know it all who had to code her own sidebar content boxes that weren't even called widgets yet uphill both ways in blogspot and do you even know what FTP is? Get off my CSS. 

But thankfully, my dear friend Denise Tanton reminded me - with her signature graceful eloquence - that there are multitudes of opinions about how we write blog posts, which work together to create a vast and diverse blogosphere, and each viewpoint is as valuable and important as the others.  

And she even went so far as to demonstrate her point for me. Read it here.  And that got me thinking about all the great (read: not pseudo-marketing formulaic SEO click bait pointlessly numbered) list-posts I've read over the years, and the few I'd even written myself (there are a few here, here, and here) before I decided no one should write them anymore, and that somehow turned into a group of us co-chairing The Sigmund and Freud Cross-Dressing Six Flags Sexy Sexy Safari Tours, or something like that. 

I'm not entirely sure.

The internet moves fast.

Keeping up is hard. 

Awesomely enough, this random post I was writing so I could keep avoiding the giant herd of elephants in this here room on the internet has somehow brought me around to that giant herd of elephants in this here room of the internet, comprised of everything I haven't found a way to publish yet, for one reason or another.

The human psyche is a dick.

Bygones. I needed a segue into the rest of my life, because really, two months of dodging elephants is exhausting. Also, not as good for the glutes as you'd guess. 

And so partly to let Denise know that I heard her, and hopefully avoid getting thrown into the lesbian tiger pit (though if it's the lesbian cougar pit, SIGN MY SHIT UP) and more-partly because I now have more posts in draft than I do published, I thought I would write a list post of my own, wherein I gloss over a whole lot of pretty important information* that really should go into a series of long, deep, meaningful posts, or, you know, MY BOOK, but you know. 

Things ain't nobody got time for:

  1. That.

HOLY DIGRESSION. I think it's time to just list out everything I'm not writing, and then maybe start publishing all the posts I have in draft line item number by line item number.

Color by numbers blogging. And I bitch about the list-makers. 

So. 

  1. I moved.
  2. To Northern California.
  3. And to Busy Dad.
  4. Over the first week of July, which was in-between BlogHer Food and BlogHer 13. Which is the perfect time to move. 
  5. If you hate yourself.  
  6. But I hate Arizona, and love Busy Dad, more.  So I moved.  
  7. And here is where I have to give my kids' father massive props for letting us go, because really, he totally could have said no and then we would have been stuck in that god-awful place for like ever and really, i would rather not-quite-die but you know what I mean than stay there one more day.  
  8. Of course, he has been nothing short of a  
  9. Chump ass
  10. Crying in his beer
  11. Breast-feeding
  12. Motherfucker
  13. To me ever since we moved, but he let me move. There am I happy. 
  14. And I know he's reading this, which is a lot of why I can't write anything anymore, because try having your ex of 20 years read your diary as you write it, but I found and read some of his journals, too, so quid pro quo, bitches. 
  15. And of course my daughter started having massive panic attacks the day before I left for BlogHer '13. 
  16. And her fish died the morning I left. 
  17. Because GAH. 
  18. But my teenage son stopped talking about killing himself. 
  19. No, I am not telling you which one. That's his business. 
  20. But you should watch this video from VOTY or read the post here on Adrienne Jones' blog No Points for Style, because we have to be talking more about our kids' mental health as a community and I for one have no idea how or where to start, so I am eternally grateful that she started for us.  
  21. Also, I got to spend, like, quality time with
  22. Queen
  23. Motherfucking
  24. Latifah
  25. at VOTY.
  26. There isn't one single picture of us together. 
  27. But man does she say Mistah Laydee just riiiiiight. 
  28. And now BlogHer is over and I am at the doctor kind of a lot with my daughter, who seemed to turn a really large corner a few weeks ago and is even putting herself to sleep at night again. 
  29. Baby steps on the bus.  
  30. And then I learned exactly how fun it feels to have your child tell you he hates you
  31. And mean it
  32. And have reasoning and facts backing up why
  33. And not being able to do a thing about it, because being the sober parent means you get to take the punches and keep wobbling back up and being the consistent, even, rational, not-emotionally-outbursty one and just hope he remembers it on the other side.  
  34. Which I think/hope he will, because holy SHIT do I love him
  35. Even if I never even wrote a post for him on his 15th birthday which was 4 1/2 months ago
  36. Best. Blogger. Ever.  
  37. But I'm getting much better at Facebook
  38. Which really isn't something I ever wanted to brag about, but here I am, checking Facebook alone in the dark and getting busted by my step-son who makes really funny faces at you when you get busted checking Facebook alone in the dark
  39. But not as funny as this face 
  40. Nothing is as funny as that face
  41. Except maybe watching BusyDad load up a grocery belt
  42. But that is a story for another day. 

And hopefully now I can start writing it. 

 

*For me. It's possible that maybe it isn't as important for you.